Govt extends SGR cargo promotional tariff


President Uhuru Kenyatta launches the upgraded Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi. PHOTO| PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta launches the upgraded Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi. PHOTO| PSCU

Kenya Railways will extend promotional freight charges on the standard gauge rail until December as the government continues to woo shippers.

This follows a request issued by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to the president during a roundtable last week, arguing shippers and cargo owners were yet to fully integrate into the SGR cargo operations.

The extension also gives government agencies time to align operations as cargo handlers lament the overlaps that continue to make the service inefficient.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the train cargo service offers the most cost effective and efficient mode to move cargo across the region.

“We will extend the current concessionary rates from the first of July to the 31st of December 2018 so that our businesses remain competitive,” President Kenyatta said.

The promotional tariff will see SGR freighters pay a flat fee of Sh35,000 for a 20-foot container and Sh40,000 for a 40-foot container from Mombasa to the Nairobi Inland Container Depot at Embakasi.

The head of state at the same time tasked the ministry of transport to repair roads into the inland container depot and those in industrial area within six months.

Shipping companies have in the past three months supported government efforts to boost cargo volumes on rail by also asking importers to use the bill of lading naming the ICD as the destination.

The concession will also apply to empty cargo containers from the ICD to Mombasa.

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